First Interview

Lower Stairs

I was interviewed on KarmaCaffe by Chandi and Hakeem yesterday. You can listen to it online here if you so desire. The topic is “A Relationship of One” but we got sidetracked onto many aspects of my work and the changes I’ve been going through lately. I was on a cell phone and in my RV (during the rain) so the quality on my end wasn’t always the best, but it should be fairly easy to follow along.

Self-Consciousness

Two Windows

The sky, returning to its Pacific Northwest ways, has become grey, cloudy and pleasantly overcast – making photography both easy and pleasurable. Light and shadows, softer now, gently bring out colors and textures – smoothing boundaries and enhancing the beauty of everyday things. Wandering aimlessly among the streets and cafes and parks of downtown Eugene (Oregon), a hidden piece of wisdom surfaces that unconsciously was known for years: that a photographer’s eye forces the mind back into the Present moment. Self consciousness can’t exist simultaneously with awareness focused on Reality – with appreciation of simple beauty found in plants and walls and trees and windows and stairs.

Still, self-consciousness, though much weaker than just a month ago, remains. Walking among people again, most seem to sense something a little out-of-place. There are curious, slightly confused stares and involuntary double takes – each often followed by a warm smile or nod. Each gesture, when I catch a glimpse of them, awakens an old, irrational conditioned “tug” of self-consciousness – a tiny, infant-sized fist clenching gently in my stomach.

It’s not important though, not something to be avoided or fought with. It’s just a subtle reminder that the change I’m experiencing is gradual, that – unlike “sudden enlightenment” (where I suspect the ego is repressed) – the old mental conditioning of self-consciousness, is fading. Each small, gentle tug reminds me of who I really am – who all these curious people are: Light within Light; Awareness looking at Awareness; Wandering waves, thinking that they are separate, gliding across the deep still waters of a Divine Sea.

Waking Yourself Up. Part V: Practice Benefits

Dandelion

Below are a list of benefits to the guided meditation I presented in the last article. What may seem like just a simple visualization actually packs quite a lot of experiential learning into it…
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Waking Yourself Up. Part IV: The Practice

By the Waterfall

The following is the guided mediation I’ve mentioned in Parts I, II, and III. If you haven’t already read those articles, please read them now as terms and concepts discussed below won’t make much sense otherwise.

Notes:

This is the same technique that was used to shift my consciousness from an ego-centered identity to a stable Witness identity. Currently – on average about two or three times a day – my identity also briefly shifts from the Witness (Stage I Enlightenment) into Pure Consciousness (Stage II Enlightenment). My hope is that this practice will help shift your identity from the Ego, to the Witness, (and possibly to Pure Consciousness) just as it has for me.

This guided meditation arose spontaneously during my second day of contemplation while dry camping on the Washington side of the John Day Dam. In the same manner that much of the material for A Simple Explanation for Everything seemed to come from some mysterious, deeper, “not-me-but-within-me” place, so too did this meditation.

If you practice this meditation at least twice a day, I expect you will see powerful results quite quickly…

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Waking Yourself Up. Part III: The Divine Within

Sunflower Bud

Most spiritual seekers believe that at the core of each of us, lies a glimmering spark of the Divine – Spirit, Source, God Within. It is the goal of many spiritual seekers to find this spark, to awaken it, and to allow its Light to shine forth from within them.

But there is no Divine Spark.

Over these last few weeks, as this transformation has taken place, I have looked deep within my soul and I can assure you that there is no spark, no flickering light.

What I have found is something far more amazing. What I have found is a huge, Divine radiant Sun – a brightly shining core that has glowed from within my being my entire life. Just as importantly, this powerful Divinity radiates within you
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Waking Yourself Up. Part II: Hortons

Yin/Yang

As I mentioned in Part I, enlightenment is when you no longer identify with (think of yourself as) your thoughts. Also in Part I, I explained how you were the Witness to your dreams. To summarize, when you sleep, your subconscious brain creates a dream and shows it to you-the-Witness:

BRAIN -> DREAM -> YOU-THE-WITNESS

In order to solidify your foundation as the Witness, you need to shift your identity from all the thoughts bouncing around in your brainpan, to actually witnessing these thoughts (ie: becoming the Witness) – and you need to do this while you are awake and going about your everyday life. You need to learn to differentiate between your thoughts and you-the-Witness.

So how do you break the grip thoughts seem to have on you?

All you need is to understand a simple concept that I call a Horton. What’s a Horton, you ask? As any child will tell you, a Horton is a big cartoon elephant from the Dr. Seuss story, Horton Hears a Who

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Dark Night of the Soul

Dark Night of the Soul

(Note: This is NOT the article about seeing your thoughts that I promised you yesterday. Sorry. – WW)

Before you pursue enlightenment too seriously, you may want to read about my “Dark Night of the Soul” episode that occurred this very morning (Thursday, 9/17/2009).

To preface it. Yesterday afternoon, just as I was posting that day’s blog entry, I received an email from my mother, who, among other things was worried about a dream/premonition she had of a dark entity threatening me. I replied with something along the lines of she’s just naturally worried about losing me to what is happening and I endeavored to explain that this phase of my life felt much like childhood or (if you’re old enough) how your teen years feels like to you now – you’re still the same person, but different. I assured her there was no risk of her “losing” me.

But the “evil entity” concept got me thinking. I have never believed in the dualistic concepts of Good vs. Evil. Jesus, in his 40 days in the desert dealt with the Devil. Buddha, in his final meditations under the Bodhi-tree, dealt with Mara. What do I consider evil? Not that I’m their ranks, but who is my Devil?

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Waking Yourself Up. Part I: The Dreamer

Dream Bridge

What is enlightenment?

Enlightenment is when you no longer identify with your thoughts.

Since the story of your life, what you think about yourself, and positions you hold dear, are all thoughts, when you “wake up,” these thoughts stop feeling like you. They don’t necessarily go away, but they do lose their power over you – you stop identifying with them. You stop identifying with the ego story.
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Why I’m Not Pissed Off

Dying Pine Branch

Every enlightened teacher tells you that there is no way to teach a person how to recognize their true self (enlightenment). I should be pissed off with them because it seems to me that there are some very simple steps to waking up and if someone would have pointed these out to me, I wouldn’t have wasted most of my adult life futily pursuing dead ends. But I’m not pissed. To me, all that futile seeking means nothing.

Perhaps the problem is that the major (living) enlightenment teachers either woke up the traditional way meditating for decades (Adyashanti), or via the “surprise” method from severe depression and suicidal contemplation (Eckhart Tolle). Naturally, to them, there is no way to “make it happen” as to each of these, enlightenment kinda “popped” for them.

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that enlightenment should be fairly easy to teach, so my guinea pigs readers, the next few articles – hopefully – will help you to recognize yourself as the Witness (the see-er of your experiences) and not the ego story. In many traditions, the Witness is seen as the ultimate level, but which I’ve come to think of as Stage I Enlightenment. If everyone were at Stage I Enlightenment, there’d be no wars, no murders, and no need for billion dollar defense budgets, so it’s probably good enough for most of us. Stage II Enlightenment is Pure Consciousness, but since I’m still shifting in and out of that, I’ll hold off talking about it as I want to speak from experience, not theory.

Funny thing is, I’m not pissed at having spent the majority of my life seeking enlightenment. Not in the least. That’s one of the cool things about it – you realize that this moment is all there is and events that happened to “you” (your body) in the past are completely irrelevant to You (as the Witness). It’s very cool.